What should you do if you have a dispute about an inheritance?
When a person dies, they may leave a Will spelling out who they want to receive their property or assets. But what happens if the Will is contested and the inheritance disputed, which can happen in the case of families who may have fallen out with one another? Contact a barrister who is an expert in Wills and Probate on myBarrister and they will be able to advise you.
What are the grounds for contesting a Will?
Just because you feel that you should have received something or that you should have received more than you actually have in a person’s Will is not a sufficient reason contesting a Will. However, there are some situations where potentially you have a claim to contest the Will, as follows:
- the Will is invalid for some reason (for example, if the signature on the Will was not properly witnessed; or if the Will has been signed while the person did not really understand what they were doing – “testamentary capacity”, in the legal jargon; or if the person making the Will signed it under duress). If a Will can be shown to be invalid, the situation is treated as if the deceased died without making a Will (died “intestate”) and the estate will then be distributed according to the rules of intestacy – normally passing to the spouse or shared between any surviving spouse and children or if there are none shared between the other closest relatives.
- you were married to the person who has died, or financially dependent on that person, and the Will has not made adequate financial provision for you.
- the executors of the Will (the people charged with dealing with probate and the distribution of the assets after the expenses have been paid) are acting improperly in administering and distributing the estate.
If you think you might be entitled to a rightful claim under a Will, or if you are an executor challenging someone’s claim under a Will, contact a barrister from the list below!
Don’t delay: what is most important is that you act promptly. If you have been left out of a Will or have not been treated fairly following a death, you need to act now.
Why use a barrister?
Barristers are experts in the law. They will advise you on the best course of action that is right for you in your particular circumstances. They can help with negotiations and, if the case goes to court, use their skills as advocates to argue your case persuasively and forcefully.
Select your barristers
I regularly advise on, and represent clients in, matters relating to Wills and trusts. My experience includes advising on:
- fiduciary duties
- validity and interpretation of Wills
- cross-border issues (e.g. where there are assets in another jurisdiction)
- actions under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and...
Hermione’s trusts and estates experience is both domestic and international, on account of her spending three years working offshore in first Hong Kong and then the British Virgin Islands. Her practice focuses on the following areas:
- Probate and the administration of estates.
- Civil fraud and asset-tracing claims, typically...
My practice focuses on the law of contract – that is, the law relating to agreements between people and organisations. Quite often, I am called upon to advise on the pros and cons of an agreement, or to help tighten it up. But more frequently I deal with situations where people/organisations have agreed to do something but then disagree, or even fall out...
Paul’s practice in this field covers the following principal areas:
- Contentious probate: dealing with, upholding or challenging the validity of wills under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975
- Administration of estates: covering all issues relating to the administration of estates whether contentious or non...